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COUNT WOLF VON-VINDERSTEIN
During the winter of 1995, Granville Trimper purchased a custom-designed animatronic figure from Sally Corporation for the lobby after seeing an example at the IAAPA trade show in Florida. The headless figure, named Count Wolf Von-Vinderstein, barks at crowds as they pass, drawing in their attention and daring them to enter Gloom House.
This stunt, which is operated by part air, part electric, includes complex mechanisms that make the mouth move in sync with a recorded digital audio loop. Although the majority of the sounds inside the attraction are managed in the main shop, this stunt is turned on daily with a switch inside box he stands on.
Unlike many generic animatronic sound bytes, the audio used for the count was custom developed specifically for Trimpers. In his speech, he tells visitors how they will be turned upside-down in the Upside-down room, how the will meet the now removed Frankenstein on the second story, and how they may be turned inside-out in Tracys rotating barrel.
The Count has proven to be a well-built prop, as it requires very little maintenance. One of the biggest problems is the fading of the figure's clothing. The original black cape has now faded to a misty green, and the Counts pants were replaced a few years back because of fading. The original cost of the Count was in excess of $5,000, but it has surely paid off during its fifteen-year tenure in the Lobby.
TRANSCRIPTTranscript contributed by Mike Brilhart
"Oh, dreary dungeons; Ghoulish things! In my home, my spirit sings! Ah, welcome to my happily haunted abode! I'm delighted you are brave enough to visit. We love to have, Live visitors at gloom house! (Laughs)
That's because, So many of us are, Not! (Laughs)
We have a special guest inside awaiting your arrival. His name is Frankenstein. Fear not! I will protect you! Hurry now! Gather your courage! Your coffin awaits! All aboard!
I love graveyards in the spring time; I love graveyards in the fall...
Ah; what do we have here? Mortals? Daring to take a tour of Count Von Vinderstine's ancestral home? Welcome! Welcome! We are in need of some more, Strong hearts; in our, Laboratory that is. (Laughs)
You could not have come at a better time. I can feel the spirits and ghouls rising form the netherworld to greet you! You will discover room after room of frightful experiences in my home! So enter my friends, for an adventure from hell! (Laughs)
Ah-ha! More visitors! I am Count Wolf Von Vinderstine, and this is my home. The gloom and dreariness of my ancestral mansion is the result of many years of careful interior, desecratings. (Laughs)
We have filled gloom house with, Surprises; You will find yourself turned upside-down; and perhaps, inside-out. (Laughs)
Do you feel a chill of foreboding? Or was that just a, Passing ghost? Come. Come. Don't be afraid. Nothing will harm you. But; You may find your visit, a hair-raising experience! (Laughs)
Oh give me a home, where the ghosts love to roam, and Frankistine groans every day; Where silence is rare, and screams fill the air, and...(Pause)
Greetings, mortals. Welcome! Your coffin carriage awaits! My name is Count Wolf Von Vinderstine; and this! This magnificently horrendous mansion, is my home. My ancestors have filled this house with the scariest of tricks and traps; illusions, and realities. But don't let your mortal fears prevent you from venturing into it's depths. I will protect you from the terrors that lie within! Come; Enter the portals, of gloom house! (Laughs)"
In 2005, the Trimpers installed an animatronic talking door knocker (Gargoyle) manufactured by The Deadline, a join venture company between V.P. Productions and Boneyard Productions. The adorns the wall over the entrance door in the lobby. The inescapable and highly-recognizable screeching voice of this barker, named "The Guardian," dares you to enter the Haunted House and is complete with piercing red eyes and a pneumatically powered mouth which opens in conjunction with the narration. Although the sound track is not custom, the plaque is still a unique addition and adds a bit more liveliness to the left side of the lobby to coincide with the right side, which is happily occupied by the Count.
Original ad from The Deadline featuring the famous animated talking door knocker.
TRANSCRIPTTranscript contributed by Mike Brilhart
"Welcome! I am know as the Guardian (Laughs)
You must be feeling, brave my friends, to enter my domain. But I must warn you; those who trespass here are rarely seen again! (Laughs)
But of-corpse, it couldnt happen to you, could it? (Laughs)
So Remember, here in the Land of the Undead, you are the outsiders. You will come face to face with ghouls, banshees, and other creatures that go bump in the night! Do you think you have a ghost of a chance? (Laughs)
And even now; I can feel your heart beating. Faster and faster; so remember, dont be afraid; be very afraid! (Laughs)
Now, move on my friends, My ghoul friend grows very hungry tonight! (Laughs)
And remember what they say; you cant keep a good corpse down! (Laughs)
So hold on to your souls Kiddies! And good luck, youll need it!"
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